Celebrating Winter Solstice:  The Return of the Sun

Today is the shortest day of the year, the Winter Solstice.  We are missing the long days of summer where the sun is shining bright into the night and it seems like we have all the time in the world for adventure.  We crave those long days and may disfavor the shorter days when it’s dark before we get home from work. The Winter Solstice, even though it’s the shortest day of the year, is a day of reflection and a celebration of the return of the sun at the same time. It’s a celebration of rebirth as the warmth of the sun brings new life.  From here on out, the days will get longer as the sun returns, and that’s something to celebrate!

This past Sunday night, the City of Auburn Hills celebrated the Winter Solstice with a lantern walk at Hawk Woods Park and Campground where the Woodland Trail was lit with 500 luminaries.  At the end of the trail was a fire where people could reflect upon what no longer serves them that they would like to leave behind in 2021 and their good intentions for the New Year.

500 luminaries lit the Woodland Trail.
Warming up and reflecting by the fire.

Inside the Lodge was warm coffee and hot chocolate, soft music, and cookies.  Sheila Clayton, owner of Sprigs Floral Expressions in Downtown Auburn Hills, volunteered her time to teach people how to make winter wreaths, which they assembled and took home to adorn their home.  There was also a winter window-hanging craft and s’more making on the patio.

Grandmother and Granddaughter creating winter wreaths.
Kids enjoyed making tree cookie designs to hang in the window.

Although the night started out cloudy, the skies cleared and the Oakland Astronomy Club was there with telescopes to point out interesting features in the Winter Solstice night sky, including a nearly full moon that was shining bright.  Both adults and kids had a chance to peer through the telescopes and learn about the stars and planets. 

Oakland Astronomy Club points out features of the night sky.

It was a beautiful evening with lantern-lit trails, warm fires, friends, family, and shining stars.  Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate with us.  From all of us at the City of Auburn Hills, may your path be illuminated with light on this Winter Solstice.

Sage Hegdal, Recreation Director